The Cardinals haven't seized the opportunity to lock up the NL Central crown in the last few weeks. Starters Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller haven't been up to par lately and the offense has been spotty at best.
All that said, the Cardinals began play on Thursday only one game out of first place, behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Cardinals still have the talent and ability to win the NL Central and avoid the one-game playoff that the two wild-card teams will have to play to decide who will move on.
Here are three keys for the Cardinals to make a big push down the stretch.